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Author: mrichardson

New Chvrches Gallery Posted

Chvrches 4

New Chvrches pics live @ The Danforth Music Hall, October 5th 2015 posted to the Live Pics section.

These are all taken from the crowd, so as per usual the quality is the best a smartphone can offer, but you’ll get the idea.

Click here

Another time.

Record Store Day 2016

RSDCANADA

The list is out!

Record Store Day is approaching and the list of RSD ‘exclusive’ records has been released!  In my opinion, RSD has lost a lot of the appeal it had and has become a lot more of a corporate event rather than something completely exclusive and special, but there are still some gems out there.  Check out the full list:

2016_RSD_PUBLIC

Another time.

 

Abbey Road Etiquette

I recently went on vacation to London England and decided to visit Abbey Road.  Clearly I couldn’t resist the opportunity to be a typical Beatles fan and try to recreate the infamous Abbey Road album cover.  In true London fashion it was pissing rain when we arrived at the infamous landmark.  To my disbelief, even in the pissing rain on a late Monday morning, 45 years after the album was released, the Abbey Road crosswalk was packed with Beatles fans.

If you have been to Abbey Road, you’ll know that it’s not a side street with little-to-no traffic, it’s a traffic-heavy street.  Clearly when visiting, you’ll want to recreate the iconic album cover and have someone take a picture of you walking on the crosswalk.  The problem is, you basically have to wait for a long break in traffic to make this happen.

When I was there, the issues that presented itself were; the traffic, and more importantly, the other Beatles tourists.  The traffic wasn’t an issue, I wasn’t expecting the road to be abandoned, the Beatles tourists however were the real issue.  You would assume that everyone would respect that likely you’re also a Beatles fan and you also would want your picture taken while walking the crosswalk.  However, this is not what occurs.  My purpose was ultimately to walk the same crosswalk as 4 of my heroes but also to immortalize the event with a picture of me walking the crosswalk but this was nearly impossible to do.

I thought everyone else would have the same goal, but it appears nobody gave a shit that others (like myself) were going to be in their picture.  I did however give a shit.  I didn’t want to travel nearly 6,000 km’s to have some other dick appear in my picture.  To get across the street without traffic was difficult enough, but to do this while also dodging other people for a clean picture was ridiculous.  I made sure I allowed everyone to try and get their picture by being in somewhat of a queue and waiting my turn, but when it was finally my turn, people kept forgetting about the queue and kept getting in my fucking picture.  FINALLY after a lot of the crowd fucked off, I quickly got my shot before the next crowd appeared.

Abbey Road 1

 

Abbey Road etiquette people, please!

Oh and P.S. To the woman dressed in all colours British, waving the Union Jack flag over your head constantly jumping in front of traffic, appearing in nearly all pictures and pissing everyone off in the process; this post is 90% inspired by you.

Abbey Road Stupid Blonde

Another time.

Rank Their Albums – Arctic Monkeys

For the  second post in this series I thought I would focus on a band that has blown up in the last year in North America, but have always been a major player in Europe since their debut record in 2006, the Arctic Monkeys.

5. Humbug (2009)

Humbug was the perfect evolution of the Arctic Monkeys sound at this point.  The tracks were a little slower and more articulate than its predecessor, and in that you can really hear and predict where they were heading towards on their next record.  There really isn’t any particular negative reason why this record ended up in this spot, it’s just the fact that the next 4 are even better.  Humbug comes in at #5.

4. Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (2006)

The fastest-selling debut album from any band in UK history, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not is the punch rock music needed in in the mid-2000’s.  A young band with something to say and the tunes to back it up.  Not an album chalk-full of dynamics, but seriously a fucking great record. I can guarantee animosity from this pick at #4, but like most debut albums, I refuse to be influenced by nostalgia unless the album STRONGLY deserves it. Have at it!.  Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not comes in at #4.

3. AM (2013)

AM, the latest record and possibly the most recognized by the folks in North America.  This album brought with it massive anthems and new stage presence and swagger from singer Alex Turner.  This was a particularly difficult pick as it is a massive record and I absolutely love it, but in terms of where the band were heading musically, it seems like it’s a step sideways instead of a step forward. It is arguably considered one of the biggest records of the decade, but here AM ranks in at #3.

2. Suck It And See (2011)

Suck It And See, a beautifully crafted mix of tunes that reignited the fire that might have been slightly burning out from the previous seemingly overproduced Humbug.  Turner’s lyrics shine through the record, cementing his place as one of modern rock music’s greats.  Let’s not forget that some retail outlets in the US decided to cover up the title of the record with a sticker, fucking rock’n’roll.  Suck It And See ranks in at #2.

1. Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007)

The sophomore release Favourite Worst Nightmare, was probably one of the most anticipated albums of 2007 following the hugely successful debut Whatever They Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.  There were high expectations from this band and they didn’t disappoint.  The response to their debut record was to release faster and more energetic mix of tunes with the added complexity of melodies on tracks such as 505 and Only Ones Who Know.  This album defined the flawless follow-up to a massive debut record.  Favourite Worst Nightmare ranks in at #1.

Another time.

Rank Their Albums – The Beatles

I’m introducing a new segment here at Markedwordz.  I’ll be picking random bands with at least 3 records and start ranking them from worst to best and referring to it as simply “Rank Their Albums”.  I figure what better way to start this new segment than rating the biggest band of all time, The Beatles.

I can guarantee this has been written about thousands of times before, but fuck it I’m going to give you The Beatles albums rating as I see it.  For all the American’s/Canadians, this list is based off the original UK albums.

13. Yellow Submarine (1969)

Granted Side B is an instrumental soundtrack from the movie, but excluding that, Side A contains two tracks previously released (Yellow Submarine, All You Need Is Love) leaving 4 tracks exclusive to Yellow Submarine.  Harrison’s ‘Only A Northern Song’ and ‘It’s All Too Much’ are definitely not his best work, and the same can be said for McCartney’s ‘All Together Now’.  The redeeming quality of the record is Lennon’s ‘Hey Bulldog’, with a remarkable hook and a track that could have easily made its way on to Sgt. Pepper.  Yellow Submarine ranks in at #13 on the list.

 12. With The Beatles (1963)

The Beatles second album recorded shortly after the release of their debut Please Please Me, feels like it was a little rushed.  Although still being one of the best albums of all time and yielding one of my personal favourite Beatles tracks ‘All My Loving’,  the record ranks #12 simply because the next 11 are even better.

11. Beatles For Sale (1964)

Beatles For Sale marked somewhat of a turning point for the band.  Excluding the poppy ‘Eight Days A Week’, this record was littered with tracks such as ‘I’m A Loser’ and ‘No Reply‘ which were standout autobiographical Lennon tracks.  This strayed from where the Beatles tracks came from in the past.  Beatles For Sale ranks #11 on the list.

10. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

In a time where record companies demanded bands release covers, A Hard Day’s Night is the first Beatles record compiled solely of originals.  A pure pop record from beginning to end, this is an incredible effort and one of the most memorable.  A Hard Day’s Night comes in at #10 on the list.

9. Please Please Me (1963)

The Beatles debut record, Please Please Me introduced the world to the Fab 4.  The record that started all the classic vocal harmonies and produced some of the most memorable early Beatles tracks ‘Love Me Do’ and ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, this record goes down in history as one of the best debut albums of all time.  Please Please Me ranks in at #9.

8. Help! (1965)

Help!, produced the most covered song of all time, McCartney’s ‘Yesterday’ while also yielding Lennon’s literal cry for help, ‘Help’, this record provides a glimmer of what is about to come.  My personal favourite from the record ‘I’ve Just Seen A Face’, McCartney’s answer to American Country Western at the time.  Amazing.  Help! ranks #8 on the list.

7. Let It Be (1970)

Basically a nightmare of a session, recording Let It Be had members quitting, arguing and cameras shoved in their faces, but despite all of this the tracks are strong.  McCartney’s idea of stripping back the songs and trying to get back to how the band recorded in the beginning, ended up in disaster.  Personally, I prefer the 2003 Let It Be…NAKED record with all the Phil Spector wall of sound stripped out.  It really demonstrated what the album could have been, and it’s a much better representation of what McCartney was trying to exhibit at the time.  Let It Be ranks in at #7.

6. Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

This isn’t technically a Beatles album, it is considered a Double EP but for this purpose I’m considering it a full LP.  This record was released initially as a 6 track soundtrack for their awful 1967 Magical Mystery Tour film, but was released in the US as an 11 track LP.  The 11 track LP was eventually adopted as what we know the Magical Mystery Tour as today.  Although to me it doesn’t feel like a preconceived record but more of a mash of tunes, it is without a doubt one of the most outlandishly incredible albums ever recorded.  Magical Mystery Tour ranks #6 on the list.

5. Rubber Soul (1965)

Rubber Soul is probably the most important record The Beatles made.  A brilliant folk record from beginning to end, this album was an important leap for The Beatles.  Their early sound had run its course and it was time for something new and Rubber Soul was the bridge to fill the gap.  Rubber Soul comes in at #5.

4. Revolver (1966)

With Revolver, the band started using the studio as a 5th member of the group.  The experimentation in the studio on Revolver would echo in the albums to come.  The album is the first to bring in Indian musicians and instruments as well as the first of The Beatles albums to enter into the era of psychedelic music. Lennon’s ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ is the perfect example.  Revolver ranks in at #4.

3. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

I’m sure i’ll get a lot of grief from this, but Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is usually in the top spot of most lists I have read over the years, but let’s face it, this is The Beatles and every album is spectacular. Does it really matter where this record ends up?.  This is probably the most recognized record of all time.  Everyone who knows something about The Beatles has an idea of what this record is all about.  No real explanation required.  Sgt. Pepper’s ranks in at #3.

2. The Beatles (The White Album) (1968)

The Beatles self-titled double album is a masterpiece.  93:35 minutes of ridiculous tunes, minus ‘Revolution 9′, but very much redeemed as the b-side of ‘Hey Jude’.  This record definitely symbolized the beginning of the end for the band.  The band was recording separately for most of the record as they were each finding themselves as their own musicians rather than part of a group.  Still, the album is a true testament to how good The Beatles were that this double album doesn’t have a single awful track.  The Beatles comes in at #2.

1. Abbey Road (1969)

Though Abbey Road wasn’t the final release from the band, it was the last to be recorded.  It was the first album to feature an a-side single from George Harrison.  The track ‘Something’ was a natural extension of George’s increasing talent as a songwriter and cemented his place as a key player in The Beatles’ songwriting arsenal.  Abbey Road is a brilliant pop rock record infused with blues and prog rock and ranks in at #1 on the list.

Another time.

Where Are The Rock Stars?

Something that I have touched upon throughout this site over the last few years is the state of today’s rock music and how something needs to be done to preserve it.  Rock has been in a state of mediocrity for well over a decade and my belief is that it’s always been the fault of the music itself.  I recently read an interview from the Daily Record that has altered my point of view and made me think it’s not just the music in rock that is lacking, but the ‘Rock Star.’  The interview is with none other than Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.  As always, Trent is someone who doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind when it comes to, basically anything.  This is no different than in the interview for the Daily Record.  Reznor spoke about rock musicians today:

“A pretty conservative nature has crept into music and I don’t mean sonically”

“I get the sense that a lot of bands today are designing themselves to get a good review in the hip blogs and that is probably the safest and most cowardly thing you can do as an artists”

“If you have something to say, then say it. Express yourself and break the rules”

When I read this I thought, this couldn’t be any more true.  There is very little of the traditional Rock Star mentality left in music today.  It really is all musician expressing pure reverence for each others music and every rock musician seems to take the safe route and doesn’t want to cause any shit.  The only ‘Rock Stars’ out there right now are the people who cemented their status as ‘Rock Stars’ years ago; the Gallagher’s, Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor himself, Bowie, Ozzy etc.  The ‘business’ aspect of the Music Business has taken over rock and it seems that what Reznor says about ‘bands designing themselves to get a good review in the hip blogs’ is unfortunately true.

I will continue with my belief that rock music is in a state of mediocrity because the music just hasn’t been there in up-and-coming bands, but it’s also missing the most integral aspect of the genre itself, and that is the Rock Stars stirring shit up.  Rock has become as lame as walking into a bar in the financial district full of wankers in suits who are sipping their vodka-waters before trekking off to a Nickelback concert.

Another time.

The First Music You Ever Heard

A video went viral last week of a 40 year old woman from Low Fell, England who suffers from Ushers Syndrome, which is a genetic disorder that results in hearing and visionary loss.  The woman, Joanne Milne, is shown in the very emotional video hearing for the first time.

A friend of Milne pulled together a playlist as an introduction to music.  The playlist is a pretty decent mix of tunes:

Ken Boothe – Everything I Own

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – She’s the One – Live at Hammersmith Odeon

Paul McCartney – Silly Love Songs

Joni Mitchell – Black Crow

Steely Dan – Peg

Electric Light Orchestra – Mr. Blue Sky

Gary Numan – Are ‘friends’ Electric?

The Specials – Do Nothing

Soft Cell – Tainted Love

The Jam – Town Called Malice

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Prince – When Doves Cry

Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)

The Smiths – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

Fleetwood Mac – Big Love – Live (Lindsey Buckingham solo acoustic version)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car

The The – August & September

Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart

Ozric Tentacles – Sploosh!

INXS – Baby Don’t Cry

Nirvana – All Apologies

Richard Thompson – King Of Bohemia

Pulp – Common People – Full Length Version / Album Version

Everything But The Girl – Missing

Foo Fighters – Everlong

Massive Attack – Teardrop

Jimmy Eat World – For Me This Is Heaven

The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist

Daft Punk – Digital Love

The Streets – Turn The Page

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps

Beastie Boys – An Open Letter To NYC

Nine Inch Nails – The Hand That Feeds

Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor

Radiohead – Jigsaw Falling Into Place

Elbow – One Day Like This

Maximo Park – Tanned

Gruff Rhys – Shark Ridden Waters

The Joy Formidable – Whirring

Bat For Lashes – Laura

Haim – Don’t Save Me

This really got me thinking, what are the top 10 songs I would have wanted my friends to choose for me if I had never heard music before? This was probably the most difficult list I have ever pulled together, and I already regret some of the choices:

10. The Clash – London Calling

9. Neil Young – After The Gold Rush

8. Daft Punk – Da Funk

7. Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

6. Beastie Boys – So What’cha Want

5. Nine Inch Nails – Hurt

4. Oasis – Live Forever

3. Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode

2. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On

1. The Beatles – A Day In The Life

What would you want in your Top 10 list if it was the first music you ever heard?

Another time.

2014 Juno Awards (a.k.a. 2014 Corporate Sponsorship Awards)

I have been writing this blog for a few years now, and being from Canada I figured it was about time I watched Canada’s annual night in music, the Juno Awards.  Generally, I have little to no interest in watching any music award show as typically they are comprised of nothing but Pop artists, as well as the token rock band to fill their rock-quota and the celebration of at least one aging musician.  This year, I figured I needed to be involved in the conversation here in Canada, so I tuned in.

I started watching at the beginning of the show and within seconds I was immediately annoyed with what I was seeing.  You might be thinking it was the music that was annoying me, but to my surprise it wasn’t.  Every time the announcer or the hosts spoke, they would go on and on about whatever corporate sponsor was involved with the particular award that was being presented.  Like basically any TV show, there are corporate sponsors.   Usually these taking the role of the commercial or a super on the screen saying something like “brought to you by corporate sponsor”, but this award show had in-program vocal corporate sponsorships.  By the time the host got to the actual award that was being presented, I had no clue what the award was about.  I don’t know if the Junos are in major financial trouble and these kind of corporate sponsorships were necessary to get it on the air, or if this is the way award shows will be going in the future.  Hopefully the former as it was a fucking joke.  As much as I would like to actually name the corporate sponsors involved in the Junos last night, they aren’t paying me a dime to do so you’ll have to use your imagination.

Because of the ridiculous amount of corporate sponsorships during the program, it was about 45 minutes in that I was fighting with myself to not change the channel.  The nail in the coffin for the Junos was when one of the announcers mentioned that the rock award had been given out the night before.  After this, I was done.  I started to research and discovered that a majority of awards have been given out the night before and not televised.  There was literally no reason to be tuned in anymore, so that was it.  45 minutes is all I could last.  All i have to say is kudos to Tegan and Sara, from what I heard they killed it.  Other than that, I gave it all I could and tried to watch the whole show, but thus due to the overwhelming in-program corporate sponsorships and the lack of worthy awards televised, I just couldn’t make it any further.

For those interested in the full list of winners, click here.

Another time.

 

Record Store Day 2014

April 19th, the third Saturday in April spawns what we all now know as Record Store Day.  For those who don’t, Record Store Day launched in 2007 and the purpose of which is to celebrate the distinctive culture of record store staff, the people who purchase records who always make sure there is time out of their week designated for a trip to the record store, and quite obviously, the music.

Personally I have been going to Record Store Day for years now and the visible popularity of this event has grown exponentially.  To me, this is a breath of fresh air as I am not a fan of digital music and very much prefer owning music in its physical form.  Not only because of the obvious audial advantage of the physical vinyl disc, or the accompanying artwork, but the shear enjoyment of listening to a record from Side A to Side B the way the sequencing was meant to be heard.  It’s great to see a surge in the popularity of physical music.

A full list of special Record Store Day releases has recently been announced.  Check it out here

A few notable releases this year:

  • NirvanaPennyroyal Tea/I Hate Myself And Want To Die (7″ Vinyl)
  • Oasis Supersonic (12″ Vinyl)
  • Public EnemyEvil Empire Is Everything (12″ Vinyl)
  • Paul Weller Brand New Toy (7″ Vinyl)
  • Outkast – Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik (12″ Vinyl)
  • Ray Parker Jr. – Ghostbusters (10″ Vinyl Picture Disc)
  • The Cure/Dinosaur Jr.Side By Side Series (7″ Vinyl)
  • MotorheadAftershock (12″ Vinyl)

Remember, get to your local record store early as the lines get ridiculous and the majority of these releases are in limited quantities.

Another time.

 

Noel Gallagher Hates Oasis Videos

Noel-Gallagher 1

Noel Gallagher provided his commentary to Oasis video library in the Time Flies DVD back in 2009.  It’s definitely worth the watch as he takes most of the time ripping on his own videos, and in some circumstances songs too.  Say what you will about Noel Gallagher, some love him and some absolutely fucking despise him, but it’s great to hear a rock star admit that something he has done is actually shit and not gold.  Refreshing and hilarious.  Check out a portion of the commentary below:

Another time.